This instalment in the Dragon Age series is an improvement in some areas and lacks in others.
the first thing I noticed was the change in the combat system. It was smoother, more entertaining, and an all around improvement from DAO. The removal of the D Pad control was the only mistake they made.
Most DAO fans said they lacked the RPG feature in combat. As I recall, on the default difficulty in DAO, I did not have to change characters often. I rarely had to infact, even without spending an hour setting up tatics. In DA2, this was not the case what so ever.
Tactic set up in very very important in the harder difficulties and is advised for default.
The environment was a let down. It all just seemed to blend in. Nothing really stood out and made me drawn to seen the textures or structers of any building. The consistant use of map layout was getting old very fast as well as staying in kirkwall 95 percent of the game.
The story at first was boring. The first year there you have to make a name for yourself. After that, you being to see the story unfold into a Templar VS Mage that was, infact, determined by your choices every step of the way, even at the end. That idea is kind of interesting but still hard to follow with no real set guide lines to how the events should unfold. They try to insist that there is not clear good or evil. not even a "foggy" view of who is in the wrong. The story will shape around your morality entirely.
All in all, I liked DA2. A vast improvement in combat and character develpment such as the jump from Mass effect 1 to Mass effect 2. (in a sense). The metafiction used throughout the story only implys a third DA. Not excited about it but not dreading it.
BTW, my review took a one grade drop from 8 to 7 when i learned Bioware released multiple expasion packs the very same day DA2 was released. What a greedy way to make more money by taking advantage of the DA fan base who want a full experience.
This review is for all the people out there who are complaining about this game (haters), there are a lot of great things about this game with few flaws so people are complaining that this game isn't perfect. Let me come right out and say if you think they dumbed down the tactical gameplay, play it on hard on the computer then talk about tactics, Second of all anybody notice the graphics make DA:O look like an original Xbox game? The graphics on this game are great the only problem i've had with them is the blood textures. Yes they use a lot of the same maps this is one of the fatal flaws that got this amazing masterpiece a 9, but the skills (especially for mages) are VERY engaging. The only other thing i can complain about is Aveline's chin (resemblance to Quagmire?) and the fact that you have to be that exact character i miss my Dalish elf and i really am intrigued by the new look of the Elvhen race.
To start, I'll say that I'm an all around gamer. I play FPS, RPGs, Sports, etc. I lean towards RPGs however and always look forward to something that just wows me. Dragon Age: Origins(and DLC) was such a game. I had my complaints, but gave it a solid 9. I'm still playing it, to be honest. So when I saw the previews for DA2 I was stoked!
And then reality set in. Bioware went for the money it seems and didn't even give a dang about depth or character development or customization or anything that makes an RPG worth playing. Or the time it takes to create a great RPG.
My biggest problem with any RPG is the redundance factor. Go here, kill this, receive item, return item to owner. Throughout the first few hours of DA2, you come across random items that when you pick it up a quest update is given to you. You find a person to give it to, you get money and your character says, "I think you dropped this." Quest complete. You never talked to this person, and you never talk to them after. Its simply a way to get money.
Now there are quests that you do get to talk to someone to set it up, and it feels like you're the big brother of everyone in the city where you live(Kirkwall). Every quest is about the same, go here, kill enemies retrieve item, and return. There is no depth to any of it. Its redundant and the maps are always the same!!!! Did someone hit the copy/paste function because they forgot to do their job on level creation? The few times there's a quest that goes with the storyline, it never really makes you feel apart of it.
The great thing about Origins and the depth with characters was being able to talk to them and it was fun finding out which gifts to give them. And your companions felt almost like a unit as you traveled together and camped. In DA2 all of your characters have their own home base, and if you want to talk to them you go there and don't really get much.
In the end its a button masher with RPG elements thats off the mark